CTSWS Deadlines

September 1 – Conductor
and Accompanist
Contracts Due
October 26 – First CTSWS Registration Deadline
* $30 per student
November 2 – Second CTSWS Registration Deadline
* $35 per student
January 17 – General Assembly
OkMEA January Conference
30 Days After Festival
Annual Report Due

CTSWS Region Coordinator Templates

Click the link above to download the zipped file to your computer. All templates are also linked within the directions below. Please email the Circle the State Co-Chairs with further questions.

Region Coordinator Requirements

Region Coordinators must be a member of OkMEA.

Regularly check CTSWS region chair gmail account.

Attend the CTSWS Region Coordinator meetings on Zoom throughout the year. Please notify the state chair if you cannot attend.

Attend the OkMEA All-State Children’s Concerts at the General Assembly on Friday morning of the January Conference.

Stay in constant contact with the teachers in your region to ensure a successful festival.

Pre-Festival Arrangements

Select a day for your event. Keep in mind that the OCDA Convention is January 9-11, 2025 and the OkMEA January Convention is January 15-18, 2025.

Contact all music teachers in your area to spread the news about the event. Use the OkMEA website to find out which schools and/or districts are in your region – https://okmea.org/circle-the-state/region-information/

Arrange for a venue to accommodate the choir rehearsals, concert, teachers, and parents (there is no budget limit for the location but discretion is advised).

  • Some venues may need a “liability insurance certificate.” If one is needed for your location, contact Katie Robertson immediately ([email protected]).

Arrange for a concert conductor ($500 honorarium) and accompanist ($250 honorarium). Many conductors have an accompanist with whom they work well. It is a good idea to ask the conductor if they have a preference before searching for another person.

  • Conductor Contract  
  • Accompanist Contract
  • The conductor and accompanist should fill out their contract using the links above. Contracts will automatically be sent to the OkMEA Office. You can email the state CTSWS Chair to verify receipt of the contract.
  • Send a copy of the music, and the password to the recordings (if available) to your conductor and accompanist.
  • Lodging and mileage will not be reimbursed for conductors or accompanists.
  • Checks will be sent directly to the conductor and accompanist at the address listed on their contract. OKMEA will send all region checks after the final Circle the State with Song festival has been completed in batches (February 1, March 1, and April 1).

Arrange for the hire of any instrumentalists, if needed. When possible use volunteer teachers within your own district. The honorarium is $50 for instrumentalists who are not volunteers.

Update festival information – https://okmea.org/circle-the-state/update-region-information/

Check the website to make sure the information was posted correctly. Wait 48 hours and if the information has not been updated, contact Katie Robertson at [email protected]

Venue Arrangements

Hospitality Table/Room with refreshments for your teachers, conductor, and accompanist. A separate room is better, if possible, to allow teachers the opportunity to hold a private business meeting.

Choral risers for all students on the stage area.

A rehearsal space that may or may not be the same as the concert space.

A sound technician for the rehearsal and performance.

A lapel microphone for the conductor during rehearsals.

A hand-held microphone for the announcements during the concert.

Choir microphones and shell for the risers is dependent on the venue.

Accommodations for students to bring and/or purchase lunches at or near the rehearsal site.

The CTSWS Co-Chairs will contact you about the possibility of purchasing Pepwear t-shirts and plaques.

Conductor and Accompanist lunches.

If you want a group photo, audio, or video recording of your festival, make arrangements with a photographer and/or recording company to collect money and take orders at each site. Send order forms to teachers in advance if possible.

Do not send a recording for the OkMEA files.

Registration Information

Contact directors in your region to remind them of the upcoming deadlines. Be sure to invite new teachers to become involved. Use email as much as possible to answers questions and provide information.

  • Any teacher that enters students must be a current member of OkMEA. 
  • All students will be registered via G-TOMS. G-TOMS automatically checks OkMEA/NAfME membership status.
  • Registration Form 
  • Medical Release
  • First Deadline – October 26, 2024; $30 per student
  • Second Deadline – November 2, 2024; $35 per student

Please advise your teachers to divide students into soprano, soprano-middle, alto-middle, and alto.

  • EX: If you have 12 students, you will have 4 sopranos, 2 soprano-middles, 2 alto-middles, and 4 altos.
  • During 3-part music, your soprano-middles and alto-middles will sing the middle part.

After each deadline the state chairs will send you the most up to date G-TOMS registration information for your region. Track the schools who submit and follow up with the schools who have not yet entered their students.

You will use the registration information entered on G-TOMS to pass out t-shirts, create seating charts, and prepare for the festival.

Registered Teacher Communication

When you receive the password for the Rehearsal Tracks from the CTSWS Co-Chairs, share it with the registered teachers in your Region. Encourage the teachers to download all of the tracks to their own computers. They can either burn CDs or share them using Google Drive. Students SHOULD NOT be practicing directly from the website. Be sure to send the password to your Conductor and Accompanist as well.

Send out some helpful resources to your participating teachers:

Update the ticket template to include your festival’s current information and the CTSWS logo. Send a copy of the tickets via email 2-3 weeks prior to your teachers. Be sure to tell them to make enough copies so that each student participating receives 2 complimentary tickets.

Remind teachers that a Medical/Media Release must be completed by each student. This form does not need to be turned in on the day of the event but should be easily accessible by the teacher should the need arise.


Festival Preparations

Prepare for the day of the event. These duties may be delegated to other individuals or committees if you have volunteers in your Region. Remember, keep track of all expenditures and receipts for the Annual Report you will fill out after your festival.

Confirm information with your conductor and accompanist. Information some conductors have requested in the past:

  • A list of schools and teachers participating in the festival
  • A schedule for the day
  • A program
  • Copies of the music
  • Access to the Rehearsal Tracks

Arrange to have risers set up before the day of the event. Arrange for help with riser placement (if necessary).

Arrange to have the piano tuned, if necessary.

Purchase snacks and water for your students’ morning and afternoon breaks ($200 is budgeted, but most areas get it for less).

Purchase teacher snacks for the hospitality table.

Ask teachers and/or parents to work the registration table.

Prepare the program.

  • Program Template
  • Ask the conductor for an order, performance notes, and/or biography.
  • Ask the accompanist for a biography.
  • Be sure to fill in all the blanks on the template and rearrange the song order as requested by the conductor.
  • Be sure to highlight those CTSWS members who are also members of the OkMEA All-State Children’s Chorus.
  • Email the program to all directors for spelling corrections and ask two directors to proof the whole program.
  • When ready for print, make enough copies that would equal 2x the number of student entries.
  • Send to the printer 1-2 weeks prior to your concert.
  • Try to keep within the $75 budget.

When you receive the t-shirts, organize t-shirts by school. Teachers will receive student shirts on the day of the event.

Print extra tickets for sale (approximately 1 per student).

Arrange to have a money box and petty cash ready to collect money during ticket sales.

Ask teachers and/or parents to sell tickets and hand out programs prior to the concert.

Ask teachers and/or parents police the rehearsals (2-4 per rehearsal), halls, restrooms, and backstage area of your facility as needed. Please ensure that your region doesn’t treat their host facility in a disrespectful manner.

Make chair labels and place labels on the chairs prior to the event.

Make directional and ticket price signs.

Prepare registration packets for teachers possibly including, not not limited to:

Arrange for publicity (television, radio, newspaper, school media, etc.)

Day of Festival

Arrive early to put up signs and set up registration table.

Greet conductor and accompanist.

  • Provide a menu to order lunch
  • Give them bottles of water
  • Give them a hard copy of the schedule

Announcements to make at the first rehearsal:

  • Location of restrooms
  • Break times (so students will not ask to go constantly)
  • No food or drink in the venue except designated snack locations
  • Behavioral expectations
  • Turn off cell phones; no texting during rehearsals
  • Introduce clinician and accompanist

Hold Teachers’ Meeting. Be sure to collect Evaluation Forms before teachers leave the festival.

Cost of tickets purchased on the day of the event is $2. Children 18 and under are free. Participating teachers and administrators are admitted free of charge as well.

Announcements to make to the audience before the concert:

If you are having a professional DVD made for purchase, no video taping

  • Encourage parents of younger children to escort loud children to the hallway
  • Silence cell phones
  • Recognize and thank supportive parents/guardians
  • Recognize and thank participating teachers
  • Recognize Children’s All-State members
  • Introduce accompanist and clinician

At the end of the event, you may use ticket money to cover miscellaneous expenses. Be sure to count the ticket money FIRST for your Annual Report.

  • Be sure to save receipts for all reimbursements made using ticket money
  • Send all remaining ticket money to Jerry Huffer with the Annual Report

For all other reimbursements, fill out the OkMEA Expense Form.

  • OkMEA will only reimburse expenses entered online. Take very clear pictures or scan your receipts to upload them below.

  • The person submitting a form to request expense reimbursements or payments MUST:

    • Fill out the form completely
    • Sign the form
    • Scan and divide receipts into categories (for reimbursement, to be paid, etc.)
    • Upload all receipts and/or invoices
    • Submit completed forms in a timely manner
  • All expenses must be submitted no later than one month following the incurred expense. OkMEA will make NO reimbursements after June 30 incurred during the previous fiscal year (July-June).

  • You are welcome to submit this form as needed


Final Reports and Duties

Complete the Annual Report.

  • Use all receipts to fill out your Annual Report
  • Upload a copy of your Annual Report – https://okmea.org/ctsws-annual-report/
  • Print a copy and mail with leftover ticket money to:
    • OkMEA Office
      CTSWS Report
      PO Box 886
      Muskogee, OK 74402

Complete the Region Festival Evaluation.

  • Use the Region Festival Evaluation forms filled out by your participating teachers to fill out the online evaluation

Update your Region Information as soon as you know the new information.

Congratulations you have completed your region chair duties. Thank you for helping children make beautiful music across our state.

Stephanie Stephens, CTSWS Assistant

Micah Spena, CTSWS Chair